Confusion about who to contact to get your message out there and how to contact them has stopped many small businesses from getting involved in public relations. Business owners get hung up on all sorts of “myths” that circulate about PR, and they are losing out on valuable attention their company could gain.
Here are the top seven PR myths busted:
- Press releases don’t work anymore. Press releases do work, and they are a great way to get your news out there. The key is to use a press release in the right way – find your news story first and then package it in the right way for the right journalists.
- It’s all about contacts. If you can establish and build a relationship with journalists, then all is well and good. But the key for journalists is the value and relevance of what you have to offer.
- You have to be able to write. Writing is an important part of PR, but there are ways to work around it if you are not confident about your writing. Instead of relying on press releases to announce your news, the phone can be just as effective.
- You have to have a lot of news stories to get coverage. You don’t just need news to get noticed. Establish yourself as an expert by commenting on other people’s news and contribute to feature articles to raise your profile.
- PR is all about press and media. Press and media relations are just one part of PR and just one way of reaching your target audience. Think more widely about your business objectives, what you want to achieve, who you want to communicate with, and what you want to say.
- Journalists won’t be interested. A little bit of research goes a long way. Take the time to identify a few key journalists to target and get to know what interests them and how you can take advantage of that. A well pitched story or idea will interest journalists.
- PR is free and easy. While you aren’t paying directly to have your messages printed or broadcast, you will need to invest time and effort. You might not get a response from a lot of your email pitches and that can be disheartening but don’t give up. Be prepared to keep at it.